Saudi Arabia denies meeting with Israel

Manama: Saudi Arabia has denied Israeli reports that its chief of staff had a meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

A statement by the Saudi defence ministry said the report that Chief of Staff General Fayyad Bin Hamed Al Ruwaili met Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was baseless and lacked credibility.

“The fact is Al Ruwaili took part in the Counter–Violent Extremist Organisations conference for military commanders in Washington to discuss ways to confront extremist and violent groups. The conference on October 15-16 was attended by participants from 81 countries,” a spokesperson for the defence ministry said.

“As part of the conference programme, an official dinner was hosted in honour of the US Joint Chief of Staff. The main meeting was held the next day at Andrews Airbase. There never was a bilateral meeting and the report lacks credibility.”

A report by Israel’s KAN public television claimed that Eisenkot met Saudi Arabia’s chief of staff on the sidelines of the conference.

Eisenkot last year called for the formation of a new international alliance in the Middle East as part of a “large, comprehensive strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat.”

Saudi Arabia, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic or commercial relations with Israel.

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